By Karen Callaway • Photography by John O’Hagan
Ever since the first public document denouncing the British Parliament’s Tea Act was published in the Pennsylvania Gazette in 1773, citizens of this original colony have declared their independent streak, along with their love of tea. Now, 200-plus years later, tearooms are thriving throughout the state. Many wonderful options dot the map within a two-hour loop of Philadelphia, all located in charming historic towns and all offering warm hospitality, great food, and endless cups of tea. To take this tour, begin at Upper Darby, 10 miles west of Philadelphia, make a clockwise loop 100 miles west to Carlisle, and sip your way back, winding up at Wayne in Philly’s Main Line area. Not only will you meet delightful people and drink delicious tea, you’ll be treated to countless history lessons along the way.
THE PAINTED TEACUP
220 South State Road • Upper Darby, PA 19082
610-352-2334 • thepaintedteacup.com
The Painted Tea Cup is located in a beautiful circa-1900 Victorian house in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. It was used as a country home before becoming a main residence in the 1950s. Having tea in the Painted Tea Cup’s garden is a pleasant prospect. The tearoom seats 30 guests in the main-floor dining room and an additional six to eight in each of the several rooms upstairs. “I don’t want it to get any bigger,” says owner Mary Hawkins with a smile, “because I enjoy preparing all of the food myself.” The menu at the Painted Tea Cup, which changes daily, is chock-full of customer favorites, such as butternut squash soup, oatmeal bread with a brown sugar glaze, and a positively scrumptious butterscotch-toffee scone. Guests at the Painted Teacup can enjoy a wide selection of teas from such companies as Tea Forté and Harney & Sons. The teas are also available for purchase in the gift shop. “We make everyone feel like they are having tea in a relative’s home,” says Mary about the Painted Tea Cup’s staff.